WASHINGTON — A woman screaming that President Barack Obama was not legitimately elected to the White House disrupted a symbolic reading of the US Constitution in the House of Representatives on Thursday.

Capitol police removed the protester, who shouted "Except Obama! Except Obama! Help us Jesus!" as Democratic Representative Frank Pallone read the passage that spells out the requirements for becoming president.

Pallone said later on the micro-blogging site Twitter that it was a "sad day when spectator interrupts my reading of the Constitution on House floor b/c (because) of absurd idea that Obama isn't a natural born citizen."

Some of Obama's arch-conservative opponents have leveled the unsubstantiated charge that the president was not born in the United States, a claim flatly refuted by official documents and newspaper accounts of his birth in Hawaii.

The US Constitution specifies that "no person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."

Lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, were reading aloud from the document in a symbolic move on the first full day of Republican control of the House.